One among Australia’s most celebrated modern inventors will lock horns with an alleged copycat that claims to be get yourself ready for a global launch.
Flow Hive created a hive which allows honey to circulate out the front into collection jars, representing the 1st modernisation in terms of how beekeepers collect honey. It took 10 years to develop.
Alleged copycat Tapcomb is undertaking a thorough social media marketing campaign claiming to get the world’s first truly bee-friendly tappable hive, contacting flow beehive via Facebook retargeting.
Tapcomb has additionally adopted similar phrases including being “gentle on bees” and offering beekeepers “honey on tap”. However, it told MySmallBusiness you can find substantial differences in between the two hive producers.
Flow Hive co-inventor Cedar Anderson said Flow Hives are patented around the globe. His lawyers are already incapable of uncover patents for Tapcomb.
“The frame they show with their marketing video appears comparable to cheap Chinese copies we’ve seen, which we know infringes on many aspects of the Flow Hive intellectual property. Where necessary, we shall seek to enforce our intellectual property rights decisively,” Anderson says.
“Our patent covers cells that split and honey that drains from the comb, which is exactly what they’re claiming to be bringing to advertise first. It appears like a blatant patent infringement if you ask me,” he says.
Flow Hive made global headlines when its crowdfunding bid broke all fundraising records on platform Indiegogo, raising more than $13 million. The campaign lay out to improve $100,000, but astonished even the inventors in the event it raised $2.18 million inside the first one day.
Flow Hives have since been adopted by beekeepers in additional than 100 countries and boasts more than 40,000 customers, mostly australia wide as well as the US. The organization now employs 40 staff.
Tapcomb, however, claims its hive design to become substantially different, conceding how the dimensions are similar to Flow Hive.
“Much like lightbulbs, the differentiator is incorporated in the internal workings that are the basis for product quality and intellectual property,” US director of parent company Beebot Inc, Tom Kuhn says.
It seems like someone has stolen something out of your house and you’ve got to cope with it even when you really would like to jump on with performing a job you’re extremely passionate about.
Tapcomb hives are tested by beekeepers in Tasmania, Britain, Hong Kong and Greece, he says. “We plan to launch Tapcomb worldwide in order to provide consumers a selection of products.”
However, Anderson says the internal workings of Tapcomb seem to be much like an earlier Flow Hive prototype, adding that his patent covers the moving parts regardless of their depth inside of the hive.
Tapcomb lists its office address as Portland, Oregon, where self tapping beehive also has basics. An address search reveals a residential townhouse that sold in late January. Other online searches list Tapcomb as being Hong Kong-based.
Kuhn says they have declared patents in america, Australia, Hong Kong, China and India. He would not reveal pricing and said he or she is trying to find a manufacturer. “The biggest thing for all of us is maximum quality at an agreeable price point.”
This isn’t the initial apparent copycat Flow Hive has received to tackle, with strikingly similar products listed available for purchase on various websites.
“We have seen lots of bad Chinese fakes, and it’s sad to discover other folks belong to the trap of buying copies, only to be disappointed with bad quality,” Anderson says.
“Any inventor that develops a fresh product that is taking off around the world must expect opportunistic people to try to take market share. Of course, you will always find individuals out there ready to undertake these kinds of illegal activity for financial gain.
“It feels as though someone has stolen something from your house and you’ve got to handle it even if you really just want to get on with carrying out a job you’re extremely passionate about.”
Asserting ownership of IP rights for example patents, trade marks and fashoins and obtaining appropriate relief might be a challenging exercise for inventors, Wrays patent attorney Andrew Butler says.
“It can be hard to get legal relief within these scenarios. China is really the Wild West in relation to theft of property rights, although the Chinese government has taken steps to further improve its IP environment.
“Chinese counterfeiters are usually mobile, elusive and don’t have any regard for third party trade mark or any other proprietary rights. They may be usually well funded and well advised, and hivve efficient at covering their tracks, rendering it hard to identify the perpetrators or obtain satisfactory legal outcomes.”
Australian beekeeper Simon Mulvany ousted Tapcomb for allegedly copying Flow Hive’s design on his Save the Bees Facebook page in the week.
Mulvany has previously waged a social media marketing campaign against Australia’s largest honey producer, Capilano, accusing it of selling “toxic” imported honey and then for using misleading labelling.
“I sense of an Australian beekeeper and inventor who may have done so well and is now facing the possibilities of having his profits skimmed with this profiteering Chinese cowboy no-one has ever heard of.
“For an inventor, flow frame set will always be improving his product, and other people need to understand that the very first will definitely be much better than a duplicate.”